Animals are a lot like people in many different ways, one of which is their tolerance to heat. While some pets seem to be able to manage fairly well when the temperatures rise, others visibly struggle to remain cool and calm. What makes the problem of temperature regulation in animals even more challenging is the fact that our pets cannot tell us when they are too hot. Instead, they rely on us picking up certain signals and behaviors and identifying the problem correctly. If we fail to do this, our beloved animals can quickly suffer from problems including heatstroke and dehydration – both of which can cause irreparable damage to their body, and if not treated quickly can prove fatal.
Therefore, it is our job as conscientious and responsible owners to familiarize ourselves with the signs and symptoms that might indicate that our pet is overheating so that we can act accordingly. We also need to take active steps to ensure that we do everything possible to keep our pets as cool as we can during the summer months.
Here are the best summer pet safety tips to help your beloved animal avoid the heat this season.
It is important to groom your pet’s coat regularly as this removes excess hair and tangles that cause also cause her to overheat. Grooming also provides you with an opportunity to check your pet for ticks which are more common in summer.
Provide plenty of cool water
Dehydration is a common hazard that occurs when your pet overheats. This is because when she is hotter, her body will use more fluid than usual and unless this is replenished, she will quickly become dehydrated. Drinking cool water will help cool her down and ensure she has enough fluid to avoid becoming dehydrated. You can even pop a few ice cubes into her water dish to help it remain chilled while she drinks.
Avoiding taking your pet out in the middle of the day
The middle part of the day is often one of the hottest, and the direct sunlight can both burn your pet’s skin and cause her to overheat. Keep her inside between 11am and 6pm and when she does go outside, ensure that there is plenty of shade she can use to cool off in.
Keep the air flowing
Airflow is important for cooling down, and by keeping windows open when possible and using fans, you can help cool your pet off with fresh air. Try to keep your A/C unit turned on in the summer months.
It would also be beneficial if you can elevate your pet’s bed, so that it is off of the floor and cool air can circulate underneath it.
Make your kitchen or bathroom a haven
Tiled flooring is great for pets when the temperatures are high, as unless it is in direct sunlight, it tends to stay relatively cool. By placing your pet’s favorite blanket or toy into rooms with tiled flooring, you can encourage them to go in there, lie down, and cool off.
Bathing and showering
If your pet doesn’t mind cool water, rinsing her off with a shower hose or providing a shallow pool of water for her to splash around in is a great way to reduce her body temperature – and lots of fun too. If you have a pool, or there is a lake or river nearby you could take a dog there to cool off, just be sure to supervise your pet closely. Never allow a canine who can’t swim well to get out too far. Some dogs who are unexperienced in water may not instinctively start swimming, and you might have to go in and rescue them.